A few days back I asked a class 8 student to write an essay on Independence Day. He goes to a well-known private school in Delhi. He wrote an essay focusing on how 15th of August was a holiday to enjoy at home and fly kites. I was surprised to find that the child was not aware of the historical significance of Independence Day. The rest of the essay showed his confusion between Republic Day and Independence Day.
I am writing today not just to point out how a particular student is unaware of our country’s history but to emphasize that he is not the only one. I asked him a few questions like: What is the difference between the Prime Minister and the President? What is the meaning of Independence day? Do you know how we celebrate this day at Red Fort? Who killed Gandhi Ji? etc. and the answer to all of them was, “I don’t know”.
I think that Independence Day should be celebrated like a festival. I remember the days when we were in school. On August 15th, during the programme, we use to wait for the Principal’s speech to end, so that we could rush towards the exit gates where the packet of sweets and samosas were waiting for us. But the programme were interesting enough for us to retain our attention through it.
Sometimes the teaching staff also takes these events for granted and consider them like any other holiday. If they continue to do so, they are not doing justice to the coming generations. The 71 years of freedom which we got after two centuries of colonial rule and the sacrifices of our freedom fighters become meaningless in the process. It should be the responsibility of the teachers, parents and all elders to teach young students about the value of freedom.
We must ensure that the kids take an interest, not only in the glorious history of our freedom struggle but also feel proud of being an Indian. After all, this day is not just a holiday but also a day to celebrate and remember the known, and the unknown heroes of our country who sacrificed their lives, for the sake of our motherland.
Jai Hind! Jai Bharat!